Pride and passion permeate every facet of Slade Construction & Building Ltd., an outstanding main contracting company delivering exceptional solutions to an ever-expanding client base across the greater Dublin / Wicklow / Kildare region. We spoke to director Wes Callaghan to get an insight into this industry-leading family-run operation, which is synonymous with quality craftsmanship.
Over the past 17 years and counting, Slade Construction & Building has forged a stellar reputation as a construction company of distinction, priding itself on achieving stunning, high-end finishes on a series of impressive new build and extension / renovation projects.
Within seconds of initiating a conversation with director Wes Callaghan, it became immediately clear that this is no ordinary contracting company; to the contrary, the team at Slade Construction & Building genuinely care about their work and the innate passion and enthusiasm they possess for construction shines through on every project undertaken.
Offering a complete design and build service and combining meticulous workmanship with the keenest attention to detail, Slade’s skilled and experienced craftsmen boast an exemplary track record for invariably meeting if not exceeding client expectations, their finished buildings consistently executed to a superior standard that accurately reflects the directors’ innate passion for and painstaking approach to building:
“We pride ourselves on our attention to detail and leave no stone unturned in pursuing the best-possible outcome every time,” Wes confirms. “Either myself or my brother Wayne is always on site and we tend to go through everything in the finest detail. Nothing is missed or overlooked and we pride ourselves on the quality of the buildings we leave behind. We go through everything thoroughly to make sure that every aspect of the building is exactly as it should be.”
This is much more than a job to Wes and Wayne Callaghan. They are both deeply passionate about their work and cognisant of the fact that each project represents a calling card for the family business. When they put their reputation on the line, they are not prepared to take any chances…
“We take pride in what we are doing,” the former continues. “We know we are only as good as the guys we have working for us. You can tell when a man is happy in his work, so we treat them right and that results in a good atmosphere and attitude on site. That’s the sort of culture we want to create at Slade – a team ethos where everybody is enjoying what they are doing. When you have skilled tradesmen and they are happy in their work, that will result in quality construction.
“I’ve been in construction all my working life and I’m passionate about this work. I started in carpentry after leaving school and was in my early 20s when we set up Slade. We have always pushed ourselves to be the very best we can be. The Slade brand is everything to us, and having a good name in construction. We’ve worked very hard to build up our reputation and we are determined to maintain it.”
Slade Construction & Building was established by Jimmy Callaghan alongside his son Wes in 2005. Wayne joined the team in 2012 and has been managing the family business alongside his brother for the past ten years. Their work covers new builds, extensions, renovations and commercial fit outs as well as attic conversions, carpentry, groundworks, structural alterations and building repairs. Customer service, quality control and realising the vision of design teams are fundamental cornerstones of the business.
“Up to 90% of our work is in the private residential market – from one-off new builds to large or small extensions and full renovations,” Wes notes. “We also do some retail fit outs and have recently finished work on a hairdresser’s salon, for example.”
Last autumn, Slade Construction & Building finished a complete refurb and 120 square metre extension to a Victorian home in Templeogue, including underfloor heating, new laminate floors throughout, a bespoke fitted kitchen, four-metre double slider and picture windows as well as paving and astro to the back garden. They also completed a magnificent five-bedroom new build from a greenfield site to a turnkey finish at Valleymount in Wicklow.
Current projects include a top-to-bottom refurb with a high-end finish of a Victorian home overlooking the sea at Sandycove in Dublin and a large refurbishment and extension on Collins Avenue. Work is due to commence imminently on a residential new build in Celbridge, County Kildare.
“We’re as busy as we have ever been. We work closely with two or three architects and we get a good bit of repeat work though them. While we tender competitively, we enjoy very good working relationships with these architects, who trust us on their projects and recommend us to their clients.”
Full-time employment is generated for an in-house team of ten as well as a large number of tried-and-trusted subcontractors. “We treat our guys well and in return they give us high-quality workmanship,” Wes reiterates. “A couple of our lads started out here as apprentices and have come through with us – they know the standards we expect. They are all great men, very knowledgeable, and they can communicate with the client or the architect if required. Good staff is vitally important in construction and we couldn’t ask for better.
“We generally keep to the same core of subbies. Between block layers, plumbers, electricians and painters, we would have one or two in each trade and we wouldn’t go outside that. They are always there for us when we need them and everybody works together as a team to get the job finished to the highest possible standards.”
While Slade Construction & Building are as busy as they have ever been, Wes is adamant that there will be no compromise on either quality workmanship, personal service or attention to detail going forward:
“We are currently turning down work for the first time ever, but we have to resist the temptation to take on too much,” he concludes. “We are booked out for 2022 and we don’t want to spread ourselves too thin. We want to give our full attention to every project.
“If you get too big and take on too much, you will inevitably compromise on that high-end finish that we pride ourselves on. It’s fine and well taking on work, but can you find the labour to complete these projects to a high standard? Both of us like to stay on the tools as well as managing the business. We like to be hands-on, on site, leading from the front. Our goal is to remain at a sustainable size and to continue achieving a high-end finish on every Slade project.”
Slade Construction & Building Ltd.,
Tel: 087 9050216
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, July 2022, Vol 8 No 7